Good morning, Friday. Oh, New York. Again with the 95 degrees and 100 percent humidity? Ugh. Fall please. Now.
So I've been thinking a ton about work and career (almost too much really) and I'm realizing I've outgrown my current (so called) freelance life. It's not that I don't like being freelance anymore- I do love my freedom and the challenge of a new project every few weeks or months, but the work is no longer steady for what I have traditionally offered and short of a full on panic, I know I need to reinvent.
Often I've thought that meant adding tools to the toolbox- learning new skills is always a great idea, but I'm at a point where I'm a quick study and it's not super hard for me to produce just about anything. Not at all bragging of course, but I just know how to make stuff. Give me a good idea (make that a great idea) and I can get it done. I'm agnostic, experienced, and just love figuring out how to get it all done.
But here's something- I know there are many things I can't do on my own. Things that people want or need or require on a project. And as I watch a bit of a death valley moment for freelancers in my little neck of the woods called advertising, it occurred to me that flying solo may no longer be the answer. I feel the next generation of freelance or consultant life will be anything but an individual effort. I can see myself partnering with a few like minded maniacs who are passionate and smart and start pitching clients on the power of a team. I can see this being extraordinary for everything from boutique law firms who need some marketing help to big brands who want a different point of view. I know many brands are staffing up internally when it comes to marketing, but there's room. I know there's room. It's not about pitching a group as an ad agency or anything like that- think a collective of people, a team, who can work across boundaries and make it all go. If I close my eyes I can easily think of five to ten people I'd love to partner with- so maybe this whole power of one scenario needs to be rejiggered to include a safety in numbers mentality? Think sleeper cells of creative types who want to make it rain. Am I onto something? I think I may be. Thinking something like a five piece band. I Sure, you can still do solo projects, but I'm all about the vibe of a band these days, where everybody has a special offer and riffs so beautifully together. 'm Keith of course. ;)
After years of working in and around trends, I think this may be the next phase for life as a consultant. Maybe it sounds like a communal approach, but I'm good with that. I can also see this reshaping the whole coworking thing- instead of shacking up at WeWork (no thanks), why not share an office with a group of people you can call on to collaborate and reinforce your very own brand? We all know the system is broken- I'm looking to shake it up and wondering if that includes putting together a team and marketing ourselves as a group? Interesting isn't it? You could literally stage this a million different ways- with people from all over the world. I like an arsenal. It's much better than a single bullet. That's my take anyway as I try to figure it all out.
I've never been a big joiner and have always seen myself as a solo type- but a bit of crystal ball gazing has me seeing this as the future of the consultant model- we all know collaboration has been a buzzword for a good stretch now, but finally seeing how it can come to life. So who wants to party?
Cause that's what's up this team building Friday in the 718. Yours, in group hugs. XO